2011: Cayman

Boarding the Aggressor

February

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I was only too ready to leave behind the gusty east end of Grand Cayman. Surely the next phase of the trip had to be better, right? Mike lurched our wrong-side-drive car along the wrong side of the road back to the west end and Georgetown, where we would meet up with the Cayman Aggressor, our liveaboard dive boat for the next week.


We weren't exactly sure where the Aggressor was docked, but Mike just kept to the roads closest to the shore (with a couple of detours), and she wasn't very hard to find.

We were too early to board -- they need a few hours to clean the boat after the previous group disembarks -- but they agreed to take our luggage on board while we returned our rental car to the airport. We caught a taxi back to town and hung around at a nearby watering hole until they were ready for us at the boat.

Once we got on board, Mike muscled our luggage down the stairs, where we struggled to stash our belongings in the tiny cabin. Despite my protests, Mike insisted I take the bigger bottom bunk, while he would climb up top.

Don't cross Captain Alan!

That evening, we met the Aggressor crew and our fellow divers on the open-air dining deck. While Captain Alan was giving a safety briefing, Mike once again demonstrated his impeccable timing by dropping (and breaking) a leftover bottle of beer he had sneaked on board. The crew members were all barefoot. "And that's why we only have CANS of beer on board," observed the scowling captain. Mike slunk back to his seat, beerless. Great. Already we were on the watch list.

The captain took a vote during the briefing to decide our course. Ordinarily the boat would stay near Grand Cayman for a day to dive the local sites, and then depart on the overnight trip to Little Cayman. However, due to an uncertain forecast, Captain Alan suggested that we depart immediately for the crossing. We'd be there by morning and that would give us one extra day of diving around Little Cayman, a propect that pleased everyone.

After the business was done, we all enjoyed a buffet dinner and some socializing. Then the gear was stowed, the anchor was raised, and we were off into the sunset, leaving behind the Georgetown harbor.

As romantic as that sounds, the night was not. Mike isn't usually prone to seasickness, but the overnight crossing was so rough that he fled our small stuffy cabin and slept up on the sun deck in a lounge chair. I wasn't much better off, but I'm used to suffering through near-sleeplessness on dive boats. And I had the advantage of being drugged with scopolomine AND Lyrica.